Police Federation

‘Government is listening’ roads policing chief tells conference

NPCC lead gives update on how PFEW member’s views will be used in roads policing review response

29 September 2021

ACC Steve Barry

ACC Steve Barry

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on the Roads Policing Review, Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) and Chief Officer, DfT, Steve Barry says “the Government is listening” to the serious issues raised by the Police Federation of England and Wales and its members, as it prepares to publish its response. 

In 2019 the Department for Transport launched a review into roads policing as the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads was failing to decline. 

Last year 1,472 people were killed on our roads and 22,014 were seriously injured. 

ACC Steve Barry said: “What we are aiming for is a safe, secure, efficient and socially responsible roads and motorway network. 

“The review provided a once in a generation opportunity to fix the problems suffered by roads policing in recent years. Whether it’s funding, political will, a cross-government approach or a singular decision.  

“We have the attention of Government and they are listening.”

The PFEW and its members were invited to provide evidence last year as part of the review. PFEW believes chronic underfunding has severely damaged the ability of most forces to deliver effective Roads Policing and reduce accident figures and we made this clear in our response. 

Other findings from the policing review include:

  • Spending on roads policing has been cut by 34 per cent
  • There 4,615 roads policing officers as of March 2020 which is an 18 per cent drop in the last decade
  • 73% of officers in a Roads Policing role highlighted they do not have enough officers to manage all the demands being made on them as a team/unit (Demand Capacity Welfare Survey)
  • The number of speed limit offences has reached a record high
  • In 2019, deaths involving drink drivers reached highest level in a decade
  • Number of breath tests carried out by police the lowest since records began
  • In the year ending December 2019 there were 302,281 breath tests carried out by police, an 11% fall compared with the previous year

The Government is now looking to launch a cross-government strategic roads policing framework, which will lay out the strategy to improve the service using the findings of the Roads Policing Review which will be published soon.  

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